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The Ford Cortina GT was already building a major reputation for competitive success in International rallying and circuit racing when Walter Hayes of Ford approached Colin Chapman and Lotus and discussed how they could further build the potential of this car. The new Ford Cortina-Lotus or 'Lotus-Cortina' entered production in February 1963, with a starting price of £910. While the road cars boasted 105bhp, the racing version possessed more like 150bhp. Once fully developed, Lotus-Cortinas absolutely shone on track driven by household names including Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Graham Hill, Jackie Ickx, Roger Clark and many, many more.

Of the 2,894 Mk1 Lotus Cortina's produced; only 64 were built by the factory as Special Equipment models. This rare version's upgraded specification included semi-race camshafts; larger valves; bigger diameter exhaust system; 115 bhp (up-rated from 105) as indicated by green cam covers; adjustable rear dampers; distinctive Lotus wood-rim steering wheel; Irvine ‘aircraft-specification' seatbelts/harnesses; and a unique ‘Special Equipment' script badge on the rear body panel.

This particular Lotus Cortina has been kept in heated and ventilated accommodation whilst in the vendor's hands, resulting in the car remaining in gleaming condition throughout. Inside, there are few creature comforts other than the cars standard instrumentation, all of which is reported to work perfectly.

Under the bonnet, the attention to detail is equally impressive, and all the ancillaries, down to the smallest hose clip, are exactly to the right spec, which again points to fastidious maintenance. If you're the type who likes to show off your classic's engine at shows, you would not be ashamed of doing so with this one. The vendor informs us that the car fires instantly, with a little choke, and soon settles to an even tick over with absolutely no knocks or rattles whatsoever. Once underway the car comes into its own above 5000 rpm with that charismatic bark from the Lotus twin cam, the gearbox is slick and precise in action and the handling is as you would expect if you have ever seen TV-footage of these amazing cars. BLJ 170B is sold with a fresh MoT and has a current odometer reading of 9,420 miles. We are informed by the vendor that the car has a reasonable history portfolio including old MoT's, tax discs, bills and receipts.

The fact that this is a rare SE makes it highly sought after and will appeal to a serious Ford collector or anyone who just loves Lotus Cortinas. It will certainly grab lots of attention wherever and whenever it is used, and the quandary with cars in this condition is whether to use them or not, but it does seem a shame not to enjoy this car and use it how it was meant to be used.





Silverstone Auctions Ltd
Silverstone House
Kineton Road
CV35 0EP
United Kingdom
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